Modern, divine comedy

Detransition, Baby is a perfect modern comedy of errors and manners. Sensitive and unapologetically queer

author_img Krishna P S Published :  27th May 2022 05:19 PM   |   Published :   |  27th May 2022 05:19 PM
Detransition, Baby

Detransition, Baby

Detransition, Baby in simple words is a comedy. A profound modern piece of writing that speaks about trans life, bearing every complexity and nuance. Written by Torrey Peters, a transwoman herself, the book offers a glimpse into the inner life of a transwoman and the family she builds.The novel revolves around three characters whose lives become interwoven unexpectedly. Reese, in her thirties, is a transwoman searching for that elusive, passionate and monogamous love. But above all a child. 

Her life changes with an unexpected phone call. As she waits for her takeaway at a Thai restaurant, her current love interest, a married guy, waits fror her in the car. Suddenly, her ex-lover Ames, who lived as a transwoman for some years with her, calls her with an unexpected news. 

Ames’ boss who he has been in relationship with, is pregnant. However, Katrina, a cis-gendered, divorced woman, still doesn’t know the history of Ames or his identity. For Katrina, this might be her last chance of having a baby since she had a miscarriage a couple of years ago. However, at 39, she is still struggling to make a decision and is confused about it.

This looks like a comedy of errors about to happen. A transwoman, her ex, and his girlfriend walk into a bar kind of scenario. A transwoman who is desperate to start a family, a de-transitioned man who is not comfortable being a father and a career-oriented pregnant cis woman raising a kid together.Though Peters alternates between Ames and Reese, the latter takes the centre stage. She shines with her cynicism and dry humour. She is initially reluctant to co-parent the child.

“Yes, go ask this other woman, Katrina, to split her unborn child with a transsexual,” Reese says. However, ultimately, her desire to be a mother wins her over.Peters is subtle but clear while talking about Ames’ de-transition. It is not because he regretted being a woman, but how difficult it was to live as one. Though he cannot digest the fact that he is a father, to preserve his relationship with Katrina, he approaches Reese, who according to him, will always treat him as a woman.

Too complicated, some might say. It is. But in Peters’ pen, a sensitive story unfolds — of love, comedy, human errors and togetherness. The comedy of errors and manners is full of pop culture references, millennial poverty, the less traversed world of trans lives and above all human feelings.